2021 Category Captain for Beer/Malt Beverages: Anheuser-Busch

AB worked with retailers to leverage warm and ambient space to ensure in-stock availability.

In the past year, Anheuser-Busch (AB) shared its insights and solutions with its key retailer partners and across the entire convenience store industry through partnerships with NACS and IRI. The company reviewed 2019 incoming retail trends, introduced a global framework for understanding the shopper evolution through COVID, highlighted key changes in consumption and shopper behavior, and identified the top trends to focus on in order to capture business growth opportunities for the convenience channel.

One trend Anheuser-Busch identified initially was that shoppers wanted larger pack sizes and trusted brands, so AB worked with retailers to leverage warm and ambient space to ensure in-stock availability on top core packages to meet shopper needs.

In order to support space and assortment decisions through the 2020/2021 resets, AB invested in and rolled out several new technologies. Key among these was the rollout of IRI Incrementality, a program that helped identify the most incremental packages in stores while also supporting SKU rationalization during a time where in-stock availability was a key retailer priority.  Additionally, AB established an exclusive partnership with ShelfIQ, an industry-leading merchandising software that supports the reset process through improved accuracy, validation, transparency and reporting.

The company's investments into shopper research and category capabilities were recognized by retailers and led to a number of new and expanded captaincies at such retailers as GPM, EG Group and RaceTrac Petroleum. Existing AB category captaincies include the majority of the top 20 convenience retailers, including Circle K, 7-Eleven, Speedway, Casey's, Murphy USA, MAPCO, Jackson’s, Sheetz, Kum & Go, Wawa, Maverik and Allsup's.

According to the company, the average beer category growth rate was 3.1 percent higher at retailers where AB was the captain, compared to those retailers where AB was not the captain.

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